Therapeutic methods and delivery systems utilizing sex steroid precursors
Sex steroid precursors such as dehydroepiandrosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, and compounds converted in vivo to either of the foregoing, are utilized for the treatment of vaginal atrophy, hypogonadism, diminished libido, loss of collagen or connective tissues in the skin, and, in combination with an estrogen and/or progestin, for the treatment of menopause. The precursors may be formulated for percutaneous or transmucosal administration. Gels, solutions, lotions, creams, ointments and transdermal patches for the administration of these precursors are provided, as are certain pharmaceutical compositions and kits which can be used for the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of conditions related to decreased secretion of sex steroid precursors by the adrenals.
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1. A method for inhibiting the development of, or treating, diminished libido comprising administering to a patient in need of such treatment an amount of at least one sex steroid precursor selected from the group consisting of dehydroepiandrosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, and compounds converted in vivo to either of the foregoing, effective to maintain serum DHEA levels in said patient at between 4 and 13 micrograms per liter.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein said precursor is administered percutaneously or transmucosally.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein said precursor is administered percutaneously or transmucosally by applying a pharmaceutical composition containing said precursor at a concentration of at least 7% by weight relative to the total pharmaceutical composition.
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International Classification: A61K 3156;